A brute-force attack is attempting to find a secret value by trying all possible values until the correct one is found.

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How much would it cost in U.S. dollars to brute force a 256 bit key in a year?

I am often told that any key can be broken and that it is only a matter of time and resources for any key to be broken. I know that this it technically true. However, I think that there is probably a ...
58
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does the FBI ask Apple for help to decrypt an iPhone?

The current debate of the FBI trying to get Apple to assist in decrypting an iPhone made me wonder: Normally, upon turning on an iPhone, everything is decrypted using a 4-digit pin (or actually, a ...
38
votes
6answers
281 views

How to check that you got the right key when brute forcing an encryption?

How do you know when you have the right key when brute-forcing? Let's say that they test the right key. They then have to check that the decrypted text makes sense. To do so, they can test whether ...
21
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is OTP not vulnerable to brute-force attacks?

I saw this question on the book Understanding Cryptography. At first glance it seems as though an exhaustive key search is possible against an OTP system. Given is a short message, let’s say 5 ...
17
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4answers
1k views

How Brittle Are LCG-Cracking Techniques?

There are published techniques for cracking LCGs, but to my eye those techniques seem very brittle — very minor changes can add nonlinearity that renders techniques like the LLL algorithm unusable. ...
16
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2answers
13k views

How long does it take to crack DES and AES?

Suppose that a single evaluation of a block-cipher (DES or AES) takes 10 operations, and the computer can do $10^{15}$ such operations per second. How long would it take for to recover a DES key, ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Is 80 bits of key size considered safe against brute force attacks?

I came across KATAN Family of Ciphers for small domain input blocks . They cipher arbitrary block lengths 32,48,64 but their key size 80 bits only. Is 80 bits of key size considered safe with ...
10
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3answers
3k views

In what way is XXTEA really vulnerable?

I'm looking at using the XXTEA algorithm to encrypt a small amount of data (say, less than 32KB) in the context of a software licensing algorithm. That is, we wish to make it difficult (not impossible)...
10
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1answer
2k views

SHA-256: (Probabilistic?) partial preimage possible?

Currently busying myself with the Bitcoin "mining" algorithm, I am wondering if the process really cannot be simplified. For reference, the algorithm is basically SHA-256d: $success := SHA256( ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Measuring entropy for a ciphertext only attack

When bruteforcing a password (e.g. the common attacks on DES), where you have ciphertext only, you need a way to assess whether a decrypted plaintext is the right one. I believe the EFF DES machine ...
8
votes
2answers
14k views

How much computing resource is required to brute-force RSA?

It's been over 30 years since Rivest, Shamir and Adleman first publicly described their algorithm for public-key cryptography; and the intelligence community is thought to have known about it for ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the largest performed/possible bruteforce attack to date?

I've read that cracking 128-bit key is currently out of reach of all humanity. However, I can't seem to find any information on what scope of brute force attacks have been performed or are possible at ...
8
votes
1answer
304 views

Is there a cryptographic function or system in which it becomes HARDER to break as time passes?

Is there a function or system which is time depending in which the effort required to brute force the decryption increases with time? It is easy to break encryption from many years ago because ...
7
votes
3answers
675 views

Is there some way to generate a non-predictable random number in a decentralised network?

Is there a way to generate a random number with given restrictions: It will be used in a decentralised network with a big number of peers (no central authority to generate it) Its generation should ...
7
votes
4answers
297 views

Could a very long password theoretically eliminate the need for a slow hash?

Before I provide details, I want to clarify that I am not looking to implement this practically, but I'm only asking to get a better understanding. The way I currently understand it, we use slow ...
7
votes
1answer
372 views

How exactly would someone attempt to analyse ciphertext produced by popular encryption products such as Truecrypt/PGP?

I am interested in understanding what the process would be if an attacker wished to attempt to decrypt data secured by common tools such as OpenPGP, Truecrypt or the like. Are there any documented ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Brute forcing CRC-32

I'm working on a cryptosystem which uses IDEA. The designer made the mistake of including a CRC-32B hash of the password unencrypted in the header, so that the system can quickly reject bad passwords....
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Would it matter if my miner was hashing random vs incremental values?

I'm working on my miner for my "game" site that's basically a pre-image attack from a hash posted online. You submit a hash input, it's hashed, and your score is the hamming distance (the number of ...
6
votes
4answers
459 views

Is there a proof for showing any cryptogram is crackable?

I commonly hear statements along the lines of "all cryptograms are crackable - it's only a matter of time". Is there a proof to show that any cryptogram is "crackable"? The proof may be of a more ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a computationally unbounded adversary break any public-key encryption scheme?

Assume there is a public-key encryption scheme $(KeyGen, Enc, Dec)$ with perfect correctness (i.e., for all messages M and valid key-pairs (PK,SK), we have $Dec_{SK}(Enc_{PK}(M))=M$). Will there ...
6
votes
3answers
942 views

AES key reuse and guessing the key

Bit of a noob question and a fair bit of Googling didn't help. I understand that the current encryption standard is AES256. A few questions Is the point of this (and other encryption techniques) to ...
6
votes
2answers
475 views

Is encrypting credit card numbers one by one with rsautl secure?

I wish to encrypt credit card numbers one by one using asymmetric encryption on the command line. My current approach is this… Encrypt: ...
6
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2answers
123 views

Effect of $L_n[1/4,c]$ integer factorization on RSA-2048

Using the L-notation, integer factorization of an integer $n$ has the best known complexity of $L_n[1/3,c]$ using general number field sieve. Would discovery of an algorithm with complexity $L_n[1/4,c]...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

what is the current actual budget - as of 2015 - needed to build a DES breaker machine?

EFF - Electronic Frontier Foundation - built a DES cracker for a budget of 250K$ in July 1998. I assume that as of 2015 - the cost of such a DES breaker would be less, are there any estimations about ...
6
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1answer
237 views

RSA reconstructing private key knowing MSBs

PREMISE: This question is purely theoretical because usually an attacker will not know private exponent d and can't compare it with obtained MSB bytes. Suppose an RSA 1024 bit signature. An attacker ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I do a brute force (ciphertext only) attack on an CBC-encrypted message?

Given a CBC ciphertext and IV, how can I find the encryption key? We are limited with an 8 chars key, each char in the range of [a..h], so I can generate every possible key (these are only $8^8 = 2^{...
5
votes
2answers
555 views

SHA-256 exhaustive search

How do I calculate the number of computations needed to break SHA256 in case we are using it for safely storing passwords (together with a salt)? Are there any formulas that can be employed? For ...
5
votes
3answers
649 views

Birthday Attack

I am reading the birthday attack in wikipedia. We consider the following experiment. From a set of $H$ values we choose $n$ values uniformly at random thereby allowing repetitions. Let $p(n; ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How to account for moore's law in estimating time-to-crack?

It seems to be common practice (at least in some communities) to tack on the phrase "with current computing power" when estimating the absurdly long time it would take to, for example, brute-force an ...
5
votes
2answers
454 views

Cost of attacking Mobile OTP with a fake server

You want to obtain a 74-bit secret $K$. There is an oracle that will provide you with the following value for several values of $T$: $$(\mathrm{MD5}(T_{\mathrm{dec}}||K_{\mathrm{hex}}))_{\mathrm{hex}}...
5
votes
1answer
397 views

Brute Force on 3DES with Reduced Keyspace and Unknown IV

I'm trying to brute force a 3DES problem given a reduced keyspace (ie I know the first half of the key) but with an unknown IV. The code decrypts to plaintext. My first thought was that I could set ...
5
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1answer
454 views

Applicability of birthday attack to AES brute force

Is the following snippet from a recently published cryptography book correct? EDIT: Expand the snippet from the book to make the context (symmetric key search) more clear. You can apply this to ...
5
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1answer
446 views

Question about why RSA is hard to attack

I think I understand why RSA is hard to attack but I'd like to get clarification if I actually do. Assume there are two people, Alice and Bob, who are attempting to communicate privately but that we ...
5
votes
1answer
896 views

Can cryptocurrency mining devices be used for cryptanalysis?

In the past year or so we have seen production of ASIC devices designed for mining of cryptocurrencies. These devices can perform SHA256 hashing at rates much higher than was seen in the past and are ...
4
votes
3answers
335 views

How to encrypt data and know it will be secure for at least a few decades?

I want to encrypt a small amount (few kilobytes) of data and be fairly confident it will be secure against brute force decryption and advances in cryptanalysis for at least a a few decades (or more). ...
4
votes
2answers
474 views

Is it generally possible to employ brute force methods when the encryption scheme is not known? Why or why not?

Lets say you are presented with an encrypted string of bits or text, and no other information. What would be necessary before you could apply brute force methods to decrypting the string? How would a ...
4
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3answers
3k views

What is the difference between online and offline brute force attacks?

I read some papers saying a certain scheme is secure for offline brute force attacks, but vulnerable to online brute force attacks. I wonder the difference between the online and offline brute force ...
4
votes
1answer
921 views

Methods of making ASIC/GPU resistant encryption?

Is there way to make encryption scheme ASIC and GPU resistant, besides using a lot of memory? And what is there ciphers or modes of use for such purpose? Including public keys algorithms maybe too, ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

SHA256 HMAC brute force with chosen plaintext attacks

This is a follow up to Is It Possible To Reconstruct a Cryptographic Hash's Key I am using a SHA-256 HMAC function on a single-word input: sha256hmac(privatekey,word) = output. The private key length ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Passwords with same SALT. What does this mean?

If the same SALT is used for many passwords on a Linux server, in what way is that a security risk? Does the mean, that a user (which can change his own password) can calculate other users passwords? ...
4
votes
1answer
170 views

Understanding ransomware – What makes plain-text-attacks or brute-forcing so hard?

Say I have four files. Two are completely unencrypted, while the other two are the exact same files other than that they have been encrypted with (apparently) the same public key (via a ransomware ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Brute-force attack given multiple hash prefixes

(Context: I'm auditing some code which I suspect to be insecure, but I'd like to be able to quantify this.) Suppose you have a 56-bit secret key ($secret), and ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Decrypting files with an unknown method but a known result

I am assuming there is a very simple way of working this out by brute force, but I am not sure if there is a better way. I have a file of data that I wish to get (my data, generated by a machine). ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Clarification of the terms “brute force” and “guess”

In the answer to the question “What exactly is a negligible (and non-negligible) function?” There is a part in the explanation that – as far as my knowledge goes – is conflicting: But instead of ...
3
votes
2answers
466 views

Is prime regeneration necessary for every new session using a Diffie-Hellman key exchange?

As I understand it, bruteforcing a Diffie-Hellman generated secret key takes $P-1$ attempts to crack the shared secret, where $P$ is a very large prime used for modulus. If your $P$ is quite large, ...
3
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2answers
703 views

Is AES solvable by reducing to SAT?

Consider a known plaintext attack on AES — just so we have an actual system of equalities that we can feed to a SAT solver. Is AES solvable in this way? In other words, will the algorithm eventually ...
3
votes
3answers
259 views

SRP-6 vulnerabilities when N is small

I'm one of the developers of an application which uses SRP-6 as the authentication mechanism. The authentication part of the code is very old and uses N with only 256 bits (all arithmetic is done in ...
3
votes
2answers
508 views

Key space size when either of two public keys are valid for authentication?

If for authentication a user can own either A OR B public key instead of just one specific key is that equivalent to halving the key space. i.e. it it theoretically twice as easy to brute force and ...
3
votes
1answer
748 views

Textbook-RSA meet-in-the-middle attack against other RSA based schemes?

A “meet-in-the-middle” (not “man-in-the-middle”!) attack on textbook-RSA was presented to me. The only requirements for it was that the attacker gets the output of RSA and the public key, and that the ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Why is 128-bit considered “medium term” security?

Why is 128-bit encryption considered good enough for medium term security only? How is expected to be eventually broken? Quantum computing or brute force attack?